Concluding our series of articles on university cities in Switzerland, this time, we have a look at Bern, known as the capital city of Switzerland. However, it may be noted that Switzerland does not really have a capital and Bern is what they call the Federal City which is the seat of the federal government.
A Little From History
The founding of the city goes back many hundreds of years ago to the early 13th century and the centre of the city has a well preserved medieval feel and look. It’s also on the heritage list of UNESCO. Obviously, the city attracts its share of tourists and international students.
Two quick interesting facts about Bern, apart from the history and the usual entertainment, the famous chocolate Toblerone is made here and the street signs in the old town are in yellow, green, white and burgundy. This goes back to the times of Napoleon whose soldiers were largely illiterate and could not find their way back ‘home’ without the coloured signs.
Even though the official language of Bern is the Swiss variation of German and most people speak the local dialect, there is a fairly large percentage that speaks English.
The university is mostly spread well across the university district and going about from institute to institute is quite easy on foot or bicycle nonetheless a few departments are a little further away.
The same as in most university cities in Switzerland, it would be a good idea for the international student to begin looking for accommodations well in advance. This link would be useful.
This website is also quite useful for students to connect with other students be it for socializing or for looking for mates for a flatshare. Even though this is a Christian organization they do not discourage members of other religions or the non religious to mingle with their members.
University of Bern
The university itself is one of the finest in the world and has existed for close to 200 years. They offer a vast variety of course.
You won’t have a problem making acquaintances since there are students from many nationalities who join Bern university.
Cost of Living
As in most of Switzerland, the cost of living is quite high and a student must budget for between 1,700 to 1,900 Euros equivalent to be able to get by each month while also leaving aside a little for some form of entertainment.
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